Saturday, May 19, 2012

AfroColombians' Week in La Candelaria

Traditional AfroColombian dishes, which include lots of seafood.

'100% AfroColombian drinks.'
This past seven days were Afro-Colombian Week, with food, culture and music showed off in the plaza near the Las Aguas TransMilenio Station.
Girls in traditional AfroColombian
festival dresses.
People of African descent make up about 20% of Colombia's population, but are disproportionately poor and victimized by the nation's violence. El Chocó, a mostly Afro region, has become almost synonimous for poverty, malnutrition and other social ills. Colombia's population of African descent lives mostly near the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. 
Attitudes toward El Choco were highlighted recently when Rodrigo Mesa, a regional deputy from the much wealthier province of Antioquia used insulting language to say that investing in El Chocó was a waste. Mesa is now under investigation for his comments and apparent fabrications in his academic history. 

Listen to their lively music. 

Neither Bogotá nor the La Candelaria neighborhood are particularly Afro areas. But the Afrodisiaco's seafood restaurant (on Carrera 5, just south of Calle 12B), owned by a black Colombian man who lived many years in the U.S., has become something of an Afro gathering spot. Perhaps that's due in part to the wall decorations, of Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey and Afro-Colombian leaders. (He shifted the Obama poster to his adjoining nightclub.)

Afro leaders of Colombia, on Afrodisiaco's wall. 

AfroColombian music in the Jorge Eliecer Gaitan Theatre. 


AfroColombian children. 

Feel the AfroColombian musical beat. 

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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